(Continued from my previous post. Read that first.)
. . . Paul wrote that regardless of motive, as long as Christ is being preached, he rejoices. So why is it that anytime we see people proclaiming Christ through a method we don’t fully understand or use ourselves, we get our panties all bunched up and cry, “Heresy!” or shout, “Stuffy!” or, “Cold and unfeeling!” Is it really our place to do that?
If Christ is truly at the center of our lives, we would recognize that his word is in fact being proclaimed and preached through methods we may consider “unusual” or “out of the ordinary.” But he’s not at the center, and so we argue and bicker about what the other church is doing.
And therein lies the problem. Our lives and churches are no longer Christ-centric. He’s been replaced by whatever gift he’s given us. X Church is a teaching- and doctrine-centered church. Y Church is a service- and outreach-centered church. Z Church is a connection- and community-centered church.
And guess what? All three churches are practicing idolatry. I don’t think I’m stretching things either.
The [C]hurch is the Bride of Christ. As such, her sole responsibility is to love him and do what he says. Like a bride’s devotion to her groom, the [C]hurch is supposed to be obsessed with Christ’s whole being. How long can a woman repeatedly say to her husband, “I love that you’re a musician,” without saying, “I love you”? How long can that continue before he gets pissed that she’s not in love with him, but rather in love with his job or abilities?
If a church constantly says that their gifts are more important than the gifts of another church, they’ve abandoned Christ and replaced him with an idol. They’re worshiping teaching/service/community and not Christ.
And don’t get me wrong. I’m not against “specialized congregations.” If a church is made up of people who are good in just one of those three functions, awesome! Expand on that and sharpen your skillset, but know that it was given to you by God; it isn’t God, so it’s not worth arguing with the church down the street over. Because the moment you’ve done that is the moment you’ve turned the gift into the god.